Thursday, September 15, 2011

DARKSIDE FERMENTATION – “MARK OF THE YEAST”

This one’s pretty off the radar for folks not parking their loins in the great state of Texas. It comes from a restaurant and brwery called the ROOT CELLAR CAFÉ, out of San Marcos, TX. They’ve got an in-house line of beers under the name of DARKSIDE FERMENTATION, and by the looks of things, they’re not messing around with raspberry wheats and ambers. The one I received in a beer trade, and spent a recent evening with, has the most excellent name of MARK OF THE YEAST. It looks like a bottle that might cost about $25. It’s a big, imposing quadrupel that hits the scales at 11% ABV, and comes in a dark bottle with a cool olde Romanesque logo wrapped around it. Let’s see how it stacks up.

Quadrupel-style ales are certainly among my favorite styles. What big-ABV imperial stouts are to some people, quads are to me: the high-alcohol pound-packer of choice. I would posit that they typically don’t belong in 22-ounce bottles, given their potency, but I’m sure the margin and sellability is much higher when they’re packaged that way than in a 12-ouncer. MARK OF THE YEAST is heavy. It might not be a “sipper”, but it’s probably a good idea. Initial tastes are of licorice and raisins. It’s less of a hardcore, fruit-based quad than some of the other recent triumphs we’ve featured on this and other blogs – beers like PRETTY THINGS’ “Baby Tree” or AVERY BREWING’s “The Reverend”. It’s certainly more dry than those beers, and quite carbonated to boot. But damn it, we really dug their Texan/Belgian je ne sais quoi. I quite liked this one at the end of the bottle, and hands shaking and head buzzing, gave it a happy and enthusiastic 7.5/10.

No comments: